Blog Entry

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Posted on: June 23, 2010 12:38 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 1:13 pm
Fredi Gonzalez It seems as if Fredi Gonzalez always had one foot out the door as manager of the Marlins.

Controversy has always swirled around him being the skipper of the Marlins. Last May, Florida spoke to Bobby Valentine about taking over the manager's job, and there were reports even before then that owner Jeffrey Loria was not happy with Gonzalez as manager. When the Marlins finished 2009 out of the playoffs, questions about Gonzalez' job security popped up again even though the Fish finished 87-75, in second place.

Loria finally got his chance to pull the trigger Wednesday, also jettisoning bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley for the 34-36 Marlins, in fourth place and 7 1/2 games out of first place. The new manager is Edwin Rodriguez, who has skippered Triple-A New Orleans for the past 1 1/2 years.

Loria issued a statement, talking about how close he was with Gonzalez, then added, "We can’t let personal feelings get in the way of taking steps that we believe are necessary to improve our ballclub.

Decisions on individual personnel cannot supersede our overall goal, which is to win. We believe we can do better and be better."

Gonzalez won't be in the unemployment line for long as he is regarded as one of the better managers in the game. Not only should other teams with current vacancies be interested, he has been linked to the Braves almost as long as he's been on the hot seat in Florida. For quite a while now, Gonzalez has been the overwhelming favorite to replace Bobby Cox as manager, who is retiring after the year. Atlanta knows well, as Gonzalez was third-base coach for the Braves from 2003-2006.

Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman confirms Gonzalez's status as the "early heavy favorite" to replace Cox. Tim Kurkijian mentioned that the Marlins front office believed Gonzalez may have been pre-occupied with his status as the favorite to replace Cox. Whether this is spin or not, it's certainly a plum job in Atlanta.

Gonzalez seems to be a great fit for the Braves. He's proven in his three-plus years managing the Marlins that he can win despite being handcuffed with the smallest payroll in the majors -- a problem he would not have in Atlanta.

Gonzalez, who has the most wins as a Marlins manager, also has tremendous experience grooming youngsters for the big show, both in his time at the minor-league level and as skipper of the Marlins. He is regarded as a player's manager, which is extremely important in this day and age, perhaps more so than in-game management skills. In addition, having been born in Cuba, Gonzalez can speak both Spanish and English which improves the language barrier that pervades baseball these days.

Finding a manager with all these attributes is difficult to do. The Marlins may have just given the Braves the best gift possible in setting Gonzalez free. And perhaps Gonzalez can go somewhere where he is fully appreciated now.

UPDATE : Mark Bowman of says that Braves GM Frank Wren holds Fredi Gonzalez "in high regard," but will not have any comment on Gonzalez' status as the next manager of the Braves until Bobby Cox manages his final game.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB

Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: June 23, 2010 7:11 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Sarcasm, right?

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: June 23, 2010 6:36 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

He is regarded as a player's manager, which is extremely important in this day and age, perhaps more so than in-game management skills. That was the knock on him for the most part with Marlins fans. I think you can afford to do that with the better teams in baseball, but when managing a team that needs to steal a few extra wins every season to be perhaps the wild card, managing the in-game has to be done. With my favorite team, the Phillies, they needed to be managed in-game during this slump better. I think Manuel could've done a better job on several occasions. Even the Mets, their manager, coincidentally named Manuel also has had trouble with the in-game decisions & moves.

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:53 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Unbelievable, that ownership blames the manager and the rest of the coaches for this team not winning. Here's an idea, How about spending some money for some better players? This team has one legit player on the roster(Ramirez) and everybody else is average to below average. It don't take a genius to figure out your team is gonna suck being built the way it is. Then again it sounds like this was the plan for Gonzalez all along.

Since: May 19, 2009
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:48 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

He's too busy selling white walls, lol...

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:40 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Fredi screwed up big time this year. Getting into a third altercation with Hanley Ramirez that could have been handled much better. Mike Stanton should have been on the opening day roster. All the mismanagement of the bullpen left us with a bunch of dead arms. I can see more moves coming up and I really think Ricky Nolasco is on thinice right now.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:33 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Wow do you guys really want Fredi as your manager? He destroyed our bullpen arms the past 3 seasons and can't manage after the 5th inning.  The worse part about Fredi is he talks crap and stirs up problems in his clubhouse between players to the point he can't even keep it under control. I wish the Braves a lot of luck if they want Fredi as their manager, because he can't manage crap and Bobby Cox is a tough act to follow up.

Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Pendleton is not even a good hitting coach much less be a good manager!  Look how many hitters have gone downhill under his tuteledge like Andruw Jones, Kelly Johnson, and Jeff Francoeour to name a few.  Gonzalez would be a great hire for Atlanta! 

Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:15 pm

Not too sure this is a good idea

I do not know if freddy would make a good manager for the braves or not, I did not see a dramatic improvement in the marlins the last three years, payroll or not. The marlins may have a low payroll, but they have some markee players for sure, and still did not get it done, this does not make me feel super comfortable. I guess I will reserve judgement, if bobby gives him the kiss then I can not argue, but I sure as heck can be cautious in my enthusiasm. I do not like it when teams "name the succesor" prior to the manager going, I do not believe in it, I believe it undermines the future of the team, and the players ability or need to listen....just my 2 cents. I think there would be other viable candidates, and would hope that wren will take the time to review other people as well.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:07 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Lou Brown?  You're kidding, right?  That guy hasn't been worth crap since that heart attack in the locker room.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: June 23, 2010 3:51 pm

Could Gonzalez end up skipper of Braves?

Maybe the Braves could hire Lou Brown if he is still selling tires at Sears.  I thought Lou Brown did a good job with the Indians when they won the pennant with a bunch of castoffs like Pedro Cerrano, Jake Taylor, Eddie Harris, Willie Mays Hayes and Rick Vaughn.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or